To create something exceptional, your mindset must be relentlessly focused on the smallest detail
It’s hard to believe, but there are times that as a client you really want to be contacted by a salesperson. In fact, many trade show attendees will often go to a show in hopes of finding relevant products that can make their lives easier or help them to better serve their clients.
What they don’t want is to take too much time having to read through irrelevant information in order to get what they need.
Worse, attendees don’t want to have to wait too long to get the information or phone call they were promised.
That is where good lead management comes in. When you have done your homework to find out who the client is, asked the right questions, and recorded and analyzed the answers, you can ensure that that relevant information gets to someone who can help that client in a timely manner.
570 BILLION DOLLARS IS SPENT ON ATTENDING, SPONSORING AND HOSTING B2B EVENTS EACH YEAR.
GET RID OF THE MINDSET OF GATHERING NAMES AND TITLES ONLY
We all agree that collecting qualified leads is often the primary exhibiting objectives. Unfortunately, sometimes these leads are not properly qualified, classified, or contacted. Statistics show that over 60% of exhibitors still rely on business cards as a way to gather lead information (Exhibitor Article by Travis Stanton – The Myths of Lead Management). While there is nothing wrong with a business card as a supplementary, and undeniably convenient way to gather potential client information, it is insufficient at best.
A lead at a show may be the first opportunity your company has to begin a positive customer relationship. If the information you provide to sales is limited to just a name, email and a phone number, then you are limiting their ability to make a positive connection.
The 7 steps you can take to help your sales or marketing team make the most of the leads gathered at the show:
Start MIND EXPLORING before the show— GET TO KNOW WHAT IRKS YOUR VISITORS
If you take the time to send out a pre-show promotion to clients attending the show you can use that as a way to ask your prospective clients two or three questions regarding their needs. Make filling out those questions a pre-requisite for a giveaway or raffle at the show.
Link lead information to your corporate Customer Relationship Management system
This way it is easy for your sales representatives or marketing to find out more information about the client and to record additional information they may discover when they follow up.
According to Small Business Trends, the average American business loses 15% of its customers each year. Customer retention is critically important to a business's growth, and while your customer service team is at the forefront of this effort, Account Based Marketing helps your marketing and sales teams become an equal part of it. By networking with more people across the business, and delivering content that's laser-focused on their needs, you can increase the chances that customer will renew their contract at the end of the year.
Let your sales team know you will be checking up on results from leads assigned to them — BE TACTICAL AND CREATIVE ABOUT IT
DO THE HARD WORK BEFORE HANDING OFF THE LEADS TO SALES. CLASSIFY THE LEADS IN 4 BUCKETS
1) Type of Product/Service
Is your offering one that fills an already existing need, with an existing line item; or, are you selling something to solve a problem that isn’t being managed, with no existing line item? If you’re selling the former, you’re response management is going to need to be on the faster side.
How did the lead come to hear about you? Did the lead have any idea who you were before they visited your booth? Did they engage in any kind of pre-show marketing that you did before the show? Was it a referral that was directed to your brand? Do they participate in the same industry that you do?
3) Company Quality
An important rule to remember when qualifying leads is to always be qualifying the company, not the contact. Whether it’s someone who downloaded a white paper or checklist from your website, gave you a card at a trade show or called in to your main number, you want to be paying attention to the company when assessing the strength of a lead. The higher the lead quality the faster you’ll want to respond.
4) The Buyer’s Journey
You must consider where the prospect finds themselves in their buying journey. While responding within five minutes of a download is ideal at the bottom of the funnel, it can turn people off when they’re at the top. To get a feel of where your prospect most likely is, consider:
1. Which of your buyer personas do they represent?
2. What offer did they download before the show?
3. What other actions have they had with your company and your website?
The lower the prospect is in the funnel (the closer they are to their decision stage), the faster you are going to want to respond
Establish a three-touch minimum for all trade show leads.
Data from SiriusDecisions Inc. shows that the average salesperson only makes two attempts to reach a prospect before giving up. But according to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research, 54 percent of sales made with a trade show lead require three or fewer calls to close. (Meanwhile, 61 percent of sales initiating from sources other than trade shows require more than three sales calls.) So it would behoove your firm to establish a three-touch minimum expectation for leads sourced at exhibitions and other events.
Set ROI (return on investment) expectations about how these leads will be measured
Do you expect 1 of 10 leads to convert?
Is your conversion rate closer to 20% – 30%?
How do you define conversion?
Is a quote request sufficient or will a sale need to close before you count it?
What time period are you evaluating?
The time period will have to take into account your sales cycle. How long does it typically take from an inquiry to a sale?
Dedicate one person or team
To distribute leads to the appropriate departments and to manage tracking and ROI calculation. Ideally this same group should be the one responsible for the trade show budget.
You would need a team of at least 2 people if you are going after the account of your prospect.
Identifying your target accounts should be a collaborative effort between marketing and sales, since it'll require data from both areas -- firmographic data, which consists of things like industry, company size, location, and annual revenue, as well as strategic factors, like market influence, likelihood of repeat purchase, and expected profit margin.
Follow up WITH ENTERPRISING PANACHE
An email or phone call by someone qualified to help the client should happen in less than two weeks. The longer you wait to follow up, the more likely the prospect will be to start working with a competitor or find another solution to their problem or use for their budget.
In your follow ups, extend yourself as a part of a 'go to resource.' Extend your efforts to being more than a product pusher. Gartner Research reports that by 2020 (now), over 85% of the decision will be made without any human interaction. So how exactly do you win the sale if you are not hyper-creative in your approach.
Leverage technology for ENGAGING AND lead capturing
By using either the shows’ badge scanner or lead capturing application, you may save time recording contact information after the show and be better prepared to follow up with potential clients faster. One advantage to tablet or phone lead capturing applications is that you can take notes and record comments from your conversation directly into the client’s information that you just scanned. You can also reach out to the client immediately by attaching pdfs of brochures or information that they requested, and copy the salesperson simultaneously.
This could be the app for you if you want to use it offline.
Collect data that matters and become a lead generation magnet! Select from over 20 question types and various formatting options effectively capture better leads.
Customizable app for both iOS and Android. Through your Dashboard, you can create unlimited events, each with their own capture fields, and email bounce back.
Customizable app for iOS and one that collects a wide range of information from potential customers via a tablet or smartphone. It can be used offline and the data synced with AWeber, Constant Contact, MailChimp and iContact.
Compatible with both iOS and Android is a scanner approach to collect information from business cards and synchronizing with your CRM system.
This means less stress inputting data into a database, but it can miss information that you may be interested in. there is also a rather nifty feature of an e-business card which can be exchanged electronically.
Available on both iOS and Android, leads can be easily exported to Mailchimp and Sales Force. It can also be used offline.
This is a big step up. Available on iOS and Android, this app pre-qualifies your leads at trade shows, suggesting who you should be engaging with.
It connects directly with Salesforce and allows you to automate the process of acquiring, nurturing and converting leads.
A great piece of kit, perfect for if you intend making trade shows and events the main source of custom.
Available on iOS and Android, it is an intuitive app that like ProLeads pre-qualifies leads and directs them towards your sales funnel. It also provides information such as event ROI and integrates with a range of CRM system.
While taking all these steps may not guarantee a sale it will ensure your staff has a better opportunity for proper lead management and follow up and an opportunity to create a lasting business relationship.
Source for this article: skyline.com, hubspot.com, conversica.com, gartner.com